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Who are we?

About Us

Why are we here

Why are we here?

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The Upper Hutt Women's Centre is here to provide and maintain a Centre  which is welcoming to all women.  We promote education, health and wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment.  

We provide a central meeting place, open to all women and their children, to obtain information and support. We aim to promote self esteem, empowerment and creativity. 

 

We believe that with knowledge, comes empowerment.  Informed choices enables women to make good choices for themselves and also for their family.   

 

We are continually looking at ways to help women in our community and always welcome ideas and feedback. Likewise if you have a skill or knowledge you would like to share with other women we would love to hear from you.

Our Services

The centre offers a wide range of services and will try to help with anything you may need support with.

 

We have  a fantastic team of women counsellors who are available to offer support and explore with you any feelings and thoughts that are worrying or concerning you. A counsellor can help you explore what triggers certain feelings and help you to find coping strategies which may be beneficial for you.  These may be feelings of anxiety, depression, grief, harm, self esteem, sexuality or relationship problems with friends or family to name a few.  

We also have a great range of courses available that you can join in.  These are generally centered around fitness, crafts, personal development, health and wellbeing.  If you have a suggestion as to a course you would like offered let us know . A list of the classes each term can be found on the courses page. 

The centre coordinators are your first point of contact by phone, email or in person.  They are there to help with anything that you need help or information with and if they can't help, they will find someone who can.  They are well connected with the Upper Hutt community and a great source of knowledge.  They are also the organisers of all the courses that the centre offers as well as the organisers of the Upper Hutt Spring Festival.  

The centre keeps a small range of good quality recycled clothing which is free to take and we are happy to help procure furniture and other household items as required.  We provide free pregnancy tests and have a  library of resources and books that you are welcome to  borrow from us.  We are able to refer you for budgeting advice, free legal advice and Women's Refuge services.  We also have a free cervical smear clinic at the centre once a month.

Our History

A public meeting was held at the Orongomai Marae on the 1st September 1994 to register interest and need for a Women's Centre in Upper Hutt. About 80 women both individuals and those representing groups and organisations attended as they all felt that there was a need for a centre in our community.  A Steering Committee was formed which fundraised and  lobbied the Upper Hutt City Council endlessly for support to find a home.

 

The Upper Hutt Womens Centre Inc opened in a year later to the day -  1st September 1995 in Brown Street (now the site of H20 carpark).  A Dawn Ceremony was followed by a Formal Opening in the evening by Sonja Davies.

 

The Centres home has been a number of addresses within Upper Hutt prior to where it now resides in Sinclair Street which we have called home for nearly 20 years.  Prior to the Sinclair Street location , we were in Royal Street opposite Pak n Save however tragedy hit with a break in and fire in the early hours of December 5th, 2003. Very little was salvageable from the fire. Smoke damage destroyed almost all resources and left our "home" uninhabitable. With no contents insurance the task of starting over from scratch was daunting. However we made it and re-opened our doors on International Women's Day, 8th March 2004 at number 6 Sinclair Street.

 

The community was wonderful to us in the face of the devastating fire. The trades people, businesses and members of the community who came forward and offered their time, money, skills and products was  really amazing.  However there was still a huge amount of work to do replacing  resources and equipment and extending the size of our new compact centre to cope with the required demands.

 

Fundraising went underway and a new building "The Royal Room" was completed in March 2005. This room is self contained and is used for workshops and courses.  As the demands for our counselling services increased an additional  room was added and officially opened on International Women's Day, 8th March 2012.

 

Today the centre continues to evolve and grow in line with the needs of women in our community.

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Our Philosophy

To provide and maintain a Women's Centre which promotes and encourages development and empowerment for all women in an educative and supportive environment.

 

The Upper Hutt Women's Centre will:

  • Provide a safe and supportive environment for women.

  • Support women In the process of empowerment.

  • Confront women's oppression and empower women to take control of their own lives. 

  • Work in the spirit  Te Tiriti O Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi). 

  • Ensure equity of access and participation to all women regardless of age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, disability or health status. 

  • Facilitate women's learning through accessible community education. 

  • Provide resources and information to the community. 

The way we work

The Centres day to day running is overseen by two staff, Tracy and Rachel. The centre is

then governed by a Collective - a group of women who regularly meet to make decisions

relating to the centre. The Collective is non hierarchical, meaning decision making is by consensus which, for those not familiar with the term, means that all those involved have a discussion until general agreement is reached and a decision made. We meet regularly and while we get through the business, we usually manage to fit in a good laugh in great company.

Our Code of Ethics
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This Code of Ethics is written to encourage a way of living and being with each other. We are building a peaceful, co-operative women's community based on shared and individual responsibility. All women can be considered members of the Upper Hutt Women's Centre.


The Code of Ethics affirms equality, and makes no distinction between women with varying degrees of involvement in the Women's Centre. The use of "I" and "other" in what follows reflects this.


Whilst retaining basic rights and freedom as an individual, I have a responsibility to work towards an understanding of myself and to maintain integrity, honesty and self-discipline in my personal behaviour.

 

I have the right to be treated with respect therefore I have the responsibility to demonstrate respect for others.

 

I have the right to be treated with consideration therefore I have the responsibility to be considerate to others and to protect myself.

 

I have the right to be heard and therefore I have the responsibility to speak and to listen to others.

 

I have the right to live up to my own values, opinions and beliefs, and therefore, I have the responsibility not to impose them on others.

 

I realise my every action and inaction has the potential to affect others. Therefore I have a responsibility to be mindful of the influence I have on others, and to use that influence wisely.

 

I have the right for my contributions to the Women's Centre to be respected and valued, therefore I am responsible for valuing the contributions of others.

 

To enable my contribution to the Women's Centre to be respected and valued, I am responsible for making and acting on my decisions, and also to be responsible for the consequences if I do not.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY

I will respect the sensitivity of others personal information.

 

I am responsible for letting people know when I need confidentiality, and you are responsible for letting me know when you need confidentiality.

 

If I believe that people are at risk of serious harm, I may choose not to keep confidentiality.

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